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Sharon

Sebring, FL, United States | Member Since 2007

65
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 14 reviews
  • 55 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • The Three Musketeers

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Alexandre Dumas
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (389)
    Performance
    (168)
    Story
    (175)

    This historical romance, perhaps the greatest cloak-and-sword story ever, relates the adventures of four fictional swashbuckling heroes who served the French kings Louis XIII and Louis XIV. When the dashing young D'Artagnon arrives in Paris from Gascony, he becomes embroiled in three duels with the Three Musketeers: Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. But when he proves himself by fighting not against, but with, the Three Musketeers, they form a quick and lasting friendship.

    Sharon says: "Adventure"
    "Adventure"
    Overall

    A rip-roaring adventure, filled with intrigue and humor, and read with style by Simon Vance. This is one of my favorite audiobooks.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Dance to the Music of Time: First Movement

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Anthony Powell
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (482)
    Performance
    (283)
    Story
    (275)

    Anthony Powell's universally acclaimed epic encompasses a four-volume panorama of twentieth century London. Hailed by Time as "brilliant literary comedy as well as a brilliant sketch of the times," A Dance to the Music of Time opens just after World War I. Amid the fever of the 1920s and the first chill of the 1930s, Nick Jenkins and his friends confront sex, society, business, and art.

    jennifer says: "A Masterpiece on All Counts"
    "Great Book to Sleep WIth"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Listening to “A Dance to the Music of Time” is like hearing someone reminisce about his life – school years, vacations, parties, people he knew, etc. The first-person narrator, Nick Jenkins, talks a lot, but his recollections don’t go anywhere. There’s little plot, no drama, sporadic thoughtful observations, but, overall, no real insight to be gained.

    As for the audio book narrator, Simon Vance, I have listened to his works probably a dozen times, and I don’t think this lilting, sonorous performance is his best. He needed to slow down and enunciate. I found that every time I started listening to this book, my mind wandered, and it became background noise. Frankly, for several weeks, I used it to lull myself to sleep at night, without feeling any real need, the next day, to rewind passages to find out what I’d missed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Aunts Aren't Gentlemen

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By P.G. Wodehouse
    • Narrated By Jonathan Cecil
    Overall
    (234)
    Performance
    (123)
    Story
    (124)

    On doctor's orders, Bertie Wooster retires to sample the bucolic delights of Maiden Eggesford. But his idyll is rudely shattered by Aunt Dahlia who wants him to nobble a racehorse. Similar blots on Bertie's horizon come in the shape of Major Plank, the African explorer, Vanessa Cook, proud beauty and 'moulder of men', and Orlo Porter, who seems to have nothing else to do but to think of sundering Bertie's head from his body.

    Charla says: "Always entertaining! Excellent Narration"
    "Hilarious!"
    Overall

    P.G. Wodehouse's funny and entertaining novel is perfectly performed by Jonathan Cecil. He definitely makes Wodehouse's comedy sparkle. I recommend it 100 percent.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Sir Harry Hotspur of Humblethwaite

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Anthony Trollope
    • Narrated By Tony Britton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    On the death of his son, Sir Harry Hotspur had determined to give his property to his daughter Emily. She is beautiful and as strong-willed and high-principled as her father. Then she falls in love with the black-sheep of the family.

    Joseph R says: "Sometimes a Great Fall"
    "Tedious and Depressing"
    Overall

    An excellent narrator cannot redeem Trollope's maudlin tale of failed romance between a bad man and the puritanical, delusional woman who inexplicably loves him. The crux of the story is told in the first two hours; the remaining five hours are devoted to the characters' interminable vacillating. From the endless moping - and and pointless hoping - of Trollope's reality-challenged heroine, I conclude that upperclass women of this era had way too much free time ... to think about themselves. Listen at your own risk.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Hard Times

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    Overall
    (52)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (27)

    Hard Times is Dickens' scathing portrait of Victorian industrial society and its misapplied utilitarian philosophy. And Thomas Gradgrind is one of his most richly dimensional, memorable characters. Filled with the details and wonders of small-town life, Hard Times is also a daring novel of ideas---and ultimately a celebration of love, hope, and the limitless possibilities of the imagination.

    connie says: "great satire on educational system"
    "Classic Book, Classic Audiobook"
    Overall

    One of Dickens' shorter novels, "Hard Times" is uncomplicated, easy to follow, and one of the author's more melancholy works. It is filled with memorable characters and is extremely moving. Simon Prebble, an always excellent narrator, adds tremendously to the pleasure of this audiobook and brings this piece of moral literature beautifully to life.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Stone's Fall

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Iain Pears
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice, John Lee, Simon Vance
    Overall
    (276)
    Performance
    (121)
    Story
    (122)

    Iain Pears tells the story of John Stone, financier and arms dealer, a man so wealthy that in the years before World War One he was able to manipulate markets, industries, and indeed entire countries and continents. A panoramic novel with a riveting mystery at its heart, Stone's Fall is a quest to discover how and why John Stone dies, falling out of a window at his London home.

    Marilyn Scher says: "Iain Pears-Always more than you bargained for."
    "Tedious"
    Overall

    The novel begins with an investigation into the relationship between the accidental death of a munitions tycoon and his complex business empire. Gradually it devolves into a sordid potboiler. High finance, double-crossing, prostitution, espionage, s?ances, adultery, drug use, insanity, murder -- this much sensational subject matter ought to produce a ripping tale, not one that numbs the listener with tedious details and irrelevant diversions of plot.

    The story becomes more and more confusing with later parts contradicting earlier parts. The ending to the mystery is revealed (not discovered), something of a letdown, and so long in coming that it fails to shock.

    All the narrators are excellent though. They are the only reason I gave this two stars.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Martyr: An Elizabethan Thriller

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Rory Clements
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (222)
    Performance
    (166)
    Story
    (166)

    The year is 1587. One of Queen Elizabeth's cousins is found murdered, her flesh marked with profane symbols. A plot to assassinate Sir Francis Drake, England's most famous sea warrior, is discovered. One man is charged with the desperate task of solving both cases: John Shakespeare.

    vanessa says: "Excellent Thriller/Mystery, Flawless Narration"
    "Great Entertainment"
    Overall

    This ripping yarn is a first-rate historical novel and a gripping mystery, read by the excellent Simon Vance. Usually, I don't care for blending fact and fiction, but this one pulled it off through a complex, tangled plot and expert storytelling. I couldn't recommend it more highly!

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Glamorous Powers

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Susan Howatch
    • Narrated By Dermont Crowley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (18)

    In 1940, Jon Darrow, a man who has played many parts, returns to the world he once renounced. But faced with many unforeseen temptations, he fails to control his psychic powers. Corruption lies in wait for him, threatening his future as a priest.

    Susianna says: "Heart & Soul"
    "Just Didn't Get It"
    Overall

    A 60-year-old Anglican monk, known for his psychic powers, loses a promotion to a despised rival, then has a vision he interprets as God directing him to leave his order. What happens next, I cannot say, because after seven hours of listening to the monk undergo a cruel, humiliating, and tortuous psychoanalysis by his rival, all for the purpose of determining whether the vision is legitimately divine, I could not take anymore.

    It certainly gave me a better appreciation for doctor-patient confidentiality, because there are some human functions I don't care to hear about in minute detail (like whether a celibate old man ejaculates after having a religious vision or gets an erection when a younger woman kisses him on the cheek). I'm sorry to be so coarse, but if you buy this book, you should understand that this is what you're in for and steel yourself to endure much unpleasant discussion on the baser aspects of human nature. For me, it was a nasty experience (as in masochistic, mean-spirited, and pointless), but others apparently enjoy it. I wish I could get my credit back.

    2 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Whiskey Rebels

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By David Liss
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (451)
    Performance
    (178)
    Story
    (178)

    At his most desperate moment, Ethan Saunders is recruited to find his ex-fiancée's missing husband. Meanwhile, Joan Maycott and her Revolutionary War veteran husband distill whiskey on the western Pennsylvania frontier. As their causes intertwine, Joan and Saunders - both patriots in their own way - find themselves on opposing sides of a daring scheme that will forever change their lives and their new country.

    Lulu says: "In My Top 10 - Maybe Top 5 At Audible"
    "Slow, implausible, ludicrous"
    Overall

    Intermittently enjoyable and frequently frustrating, "The Whiskey Rebels" tells fictional history through two characters - Captain Ethan Saunders, a disgraced but witty scoundrel, and Joan Maycott, a pioneer wife, authoress, feisty rebel, and the desire of every man she meets. Most of the energy comes from Saunders - a truly great character, down but not out, as naughty as he is hilarious. Unfortunately, he has to share space with the implausible and self-righteous Mrs. Maycott. Real historical figures fall flat (strangely, Alexander Hamilton is the only character who speaks with contractions like "don't" and "can't"). The heavy-handed villains are not merely possessed with vices like greed and avarice: they must also be rapists, wife-beaters, child abusers, slave molesters, sexual perverts, adulterers, and cold-blooded murderers. The excellent narrator, Christopher Lane, imbues the story with more life and energy than it musters on its own. He alone kept me listening when I was well prepared to give up on the sluggish plot.

    7 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • After You with the Pistol

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Kyril Bonfiglioli
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    Overall
    (46)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    Kyril Bonfiglioli's wickedly fun mysteries featuring the Honorable Charlie Mortdecai, degenerate aristocrat, amoral art dealer, seasoned epicurean, unwilling assassin, and general knave-about-Picadilly, have been cult classics in the UK since their first publication there in the 1970s.

    Sharon says: "Guilty Pleasure"
    "Guilty Pleasure"
    Overall

    Amoral art dealer/assassin Charlie Mordecai is Bertie Wooster as imagined by, say, Elmore Leonard. The P.G. Woodehouse connection is made even more obvious by the fact that the excellent reader, Simon Prebble, also narrates some of the "Leave it to Jeeves" stories. The story is trashy, outlandish, and funny in the style of pulp fiction or a graphic novel. The plot is sometimes perplexing and not worth sorting out. "After You" is not the least bit edifying, but it is mindlessly entertaining.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Captains Courageous

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Rudyard Kipling
    • Narrated By David Stuart
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Young Harvey Cheyne is rich, spoiled, prejudiced, and totally lacking in the real experiences of life. When the 15-year-old is accidentally washed overboard a great ocean liner headed for Europe, he is picked up by a fisherman and brought aboard the fishing schooner We're Here. Harvey's stories of privilege and wealth mean nothing aboard this hard-working vessel, and the boy receives many lessons in self-reliance, values, and hard-bitten reality in the words of Long Jack.

    Sharon says: "Pleasant Listening"
    "Pleasant Listening"
    Overall

    "Captains Courageous" is less adventure story and more about the daily lives of fishermen off northeastern United States. In it, a millionaire's son becomes a man through his accidental indoctrination into hard work, responsibility, and danger. It is an engaging and well-written story that preserves a unique slice of American life, and the reader is excellent. And at a little over 5 hours, it is "just long enough."

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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